Category Archives: design and decor

I’m Not Wearing Pants at the Moment

True, I’m not wearing pants. It’s my way of letting the world know that our window blinds were installed yesterday! Finally, I can lounge around the house in my skivvies without putting on a peep show for my neighbors. The sidewalk in front of our house sees a fair amount of traffic- parents with strollers, dog walkers, bikers, and joggers–including the boys’ cross country team from a nearby high school.

We installed vertical blinds in the upstairs bedrooms and a different types of cellular shades on the main floor. We chose the top-down/bottom-up style to allow the greatest amount of natural light into the rooms while still providing enough privacy to prance around naked inside the house.

Pics and video soon!

To clarify, we do not actually prance around or even sit at our desks naked and if we did, I would not put it on YouTube. I will post pics or videos of our blinds, though.

You’re welcome.

Since some of you are bound to ask, we bought the blinds from a Big Box store and paid them to do the measuring and the install. In all, we covered 16 windows, so the flat fee the store charged for measuring and installing turned out to be a pretty good deal. And now we don’t have to devote any of our weekend time to covering the windows, which is good because we’re on something like week 7 of bathroom demo. *DIY sigh*

The By-Gone Bee, Your New Source for Vintage Housewares

By Gone Bee Etsy shopeThis is the kind of thing I think about doing, but makes Hubs go into convulsions, so I’m pleased to that my friend Emily of The Happy Home is doing it instead. She’s just launched an Etsy shop, The By-Gone Bee, that sells vintages housewares and prints. Given that she’ll be scouring the LA area for finds, she’s sure to stock a cool inventory. Who knows? Maybe she’ll even get her own show on HGTV one of these days.

KBIS 2012, Kitchen and Bath Industry Show Top Picks and Trends

Fun, functional, aspirational*–there was so much to see and report on from the 2012 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show. I’ll be back with interesting tidbits and kitchen and bath trend reports (not to mention my own reno progress on the two original bathrooms in this house), but for now, I’m going to share a video of my top picks from the show.

 

 

And here’s a bit from Kohler introducing the HydroRail, which is definitely a key find. It lets consumers have the luxury of a rainshower head without the mess of tearing up the wall and installing new pipes.

 

 

Which of these new products would you like to have? As for me,  I already have a U-Socket on order from ThinkGeek.

*The industry term for cool stuff you can’t afford.

Moen MotionSense Touchless Faucet Earns a Golden Hammer Award

Golden Hammer from Reluctant RenovatorWe’re awarding our first Golden Hammer! It’s an honor we give to recognize excellence in product design, innovation or customer service. The new Moen MotionSense Faucet earned this award due its innovative functionality–it’s touchless! (And pretty.)

MotionSense is great for families and foodies.

It’s perfect for the home cook who finds herself elbow deep in ground turkey as she’s mixing up meatballs or burgers and doesn’t want to touch the faucet with her germy hands.

It’s also great for young children who can’t reach the faucet handle and want to wash hands or get a drink of water.

And it’s pretty useful when washing dishes by hand. Water on. Water off.

Watch the video to learn more about the MotionSense and see it in action. (Seriously, peeps. It’s less than 2 minutes long. If you can’t find the time, you need to read this.)

The MotionSense is EPA WaterSense certified.  It will be available in the fall of 2012 at finer kitchen design outlets later this year. Look for a less expensive version with the same technology at your favorite Big Box in 2013. Chrome, oil rubbed bronze, and “spot resist” stainless finishes will be available with a price of around $650 depending on the finish.

moen motionsense faucet

Stayed tuned for more eye-catching favorites from my time at KBIS, the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show. MotionSense is the only Golden Hammer recipient from the show, but there will be more Golden Hammers awarded in the coming months, as well as a few Rusty Nail awards, the GH’s evil twin.

No compensation was received for this post. The MotionSense was my top family-friendly pick from the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show.

Bathroom Demo and 2012 Bath Trends at KBIS, the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show

I’m excited to be heading to the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, #KBIS, this week. With two bathrooms in demo mode, I’m going to be like a kid in a candy store. A very fancy candy store. I like to spot trends and I’m always on the lookout for new and different products to share with you. For my own needs, I’m looking for practical, family-, eco- and budget-friendly items.

 

 

I’ll spend one full day at KBIS and maybe head back for a second day if I want to see more.

Among the items I’m excited to see:

The Kohler Stereostik sounds cool (as with many items on this list, detailed information may not appear on the website until after KBIS).

Hello kid friendly! I’m eager to check out Moen’s Spot Resist fingerprint resistant materials.

I’m totally geeked out over this Light Integrated Trim (LIT) from Belwith-Keeler.

You need a big kitchen to accommodate this, but how handy would this Galley Sink be?

I can’t figure out why we didn’t get these U-sockets installed all over the house. Except for the expense. Still, why didn’t we put them in a few keys spots?

They’ll be lots of eye candy at KBIS, like these beautiful artisan sinks.

I’ll be back with pics, video and/or links soon!

Oh, The Huge Vanity!

kohler loure faucetI know, I know. I haven’t even finished showing you our luxurious master bathroom before I started talking about demolishing another one. I don’t yet have a vision for the new bathrooms, but I’ll find plenty of inspiration at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show next week. Our master bath is pretty inspiring, too, but I suspect we’ll go a bit lower key with the two other bathrooms.

Our master is very cool and modern without being over the top. The room incorporates many of 2012′s top bathroom trends- heated floor, deluxe shower experience, bench in the shower, layered lighting, a bathroom fan with a timer, and sleek fixtures.

Our modern faucet is part of Kohler’s Loure line, which you also saw in our shower.

It’s paired with a custom vanity top from (wait for it) Crafty Beaver. We got a great price and thoughtful service and I wish we’d thought to get a quote from them on our kitchen cabinets. The top features a wave bowl from Bertch and the cabinet itself is an off-the-shelf piece from the Big Box. It looks nice, but it’s a poor quality piece, something we didn’t realize until it was too late to return.

As you can (kinda) see in the photo below, rather than a typical round spray of water from the tap, the Loure faucet releases a unique flow in which you can see two streams cross in V-shape at the top and then twist and turn as they hit the sink. The fact that the Teen and I are fascinated by this might indicate undiagnosed Asperger’s or something, but it really is interesting and calming to watch.

kohler loure faucet in action

That said, I do try to save water by not running the faucet while I brush my teeth. Gotta focus on those pearly whites! And the Teen is stuck brushing his teeth in here, anyway.

 

kohler Loure faucet handle

Perhaps because DH and I don’t share a morning rush, we didn’t see the need for two sinks. Instead, we opted for one and a make-up area for the lady of the house.

 

master bath vanity makeup desk

Our bathroom paint provided by Benjamin Moore. The color, Smoked Oyster (2109-40), alternates between beige, mauve and purple, depending upon the light.

Speaking of tricks of light, I mentioned that I couldn’t get a good shot of the entire vanity given the natural light, the light fixtures and copious amounts of mirror and glass in the room. Here’s my proof. (Also, I apparently didn’t straighten up the vanity before I shot. I swear it looks nicer in person. BTW, the toilet is behind me.)

master bath vanity

 

We received a discount from Kohler on our fixtures. All opinions, blog posts, videos and cleaning services are my own.